Gary Lineker Gives Perfect Explanation Why Ronaldo, Others Can’t Be Compared to Messi

Gary Lineker Gives Perfect Explanation Why Ronaldo, Others Can’t Be Compared to Messi

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at December 1, 2023 at 7:34 AM
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C. Ronaldo
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  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are considered the GOATs of football following their remarkable exploits
  • The debate persists: Who truly stands as the greatest between the two titans, Ronaldo or Messi?
  • But Gary Lineker finds it intriguing that Messi surpasses Ronaldo and leads the pack among the eminent figures in the sport

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two football titans known for their enduring rivalry, have enjoyed an illustrious and competitive relationship spanning over a decade.

Between them, the duo secured a staggering 12 out of 13 consecutive Ballon d'Or titles.

Gary Lineker, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, GOAT
Gary Lineker believes Lionel Messi is extraterrestrial in comparison to other football icons like Maradona and Ronaldo. Photos by Alex Gotfryd, Dave Cannon, Stefan Matzke, and Crystal Pix/MB Media
Source: Getty Images

Messi claimed seven individual honours compared to Ronaldo's five, with Luka Modric being the sole interruption in 2018. The celestial Argentine recently added to his legacy by clinching an unprecedented eighth award.

Gary Lineker, the top scorer in the 1986 World Cup, recently weighed in on this ongoing debate, proposing that the comparison should shift from Ronaldo to Messi to a comparison between Messi and the late Argentine legend Diego Maradona.

"In my real footballing lifetime, it's between Messi and Maradona," the 63-year-old said as quoted by Eurofoot.

Lineker then emphasised the multitude of top-tier football talent available for the title of the Greatest of All Time (GOAT).

"It's mad, really. There are so many great players we've had—Zidane, Cruyff, the two Ronaldos's. There's a list."

However, the former footballer-turned-broadcaster staunchly championed Messi's extraordinary abilities, deeming him a footballer from another realm and unequivocally positioning him as the greatest of all time.

"But then suddenly you've got these two that play a game that the rest of us are not familiar with. For me, Messi is now indisputable."

Deciding between the now-Inter Miami and Al-Nassr stars often hinges on personal preferences and the attributes one values most in a footballer.

Despite Ronaldo's impressive goal-scoring record, Lineker urged against solely judging both players on this metric.

While acknowledging the Portuguese's prowess as arguably the best goal scorer in history, Lineker highlighted Messi's multifaceted skill set, indicating that Messi's repertoire extends far beyond just goal-scoring ability.

"There are people that possibly compare the likes of Cristiano in terms of goalscoring, but in terms of the joy that they give you when you watch them, there's nobody that compares with Lionel Messi."

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Ronaldo heaps praise on Messi

Sports Brief also reported that Ronaldo praised Messi and Zinedine Zidane in a controversial interview with Piers Morgan.

The sit-down led to the Portuguese veteran's contentious departure from Manchester United, featuring numerous intriguing comments from Ronaldo.

Over the past decade, the duo shared the limelight, competing for awards and making history.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.